Rose City Rookie is dead. In its memory lies dnoflows, my new blogchild. 

There will be no more new content on RCR.  I'll explain more tomorrow. Enjoy you fine specimens you.

Finish what my dido started.

Below is a post from my old blog.  Written October 12, 2009.  I've re-posted this one, because shortly after I originally wrote it, I gave up on the project.  Two years later, I've picked it back up and won't stop working on it until it's done or I die.

In 1996, my grandpa wrote a book about his troubles and hardships as a Ukrainian and as a soldier in the Second World War.  His name is Stephen Fedenko, and the book is written in Ukrainian.

My Ukie has never been good enough to actually read the book, but since I've recently found a passion for writing, I gave it another try.  After reading a few pages, I gave up.  It would take me weeks to read it, and unfortunately I don't have a firm enough grasp on the traditional Ukrainian language to absorb everything the book could offer.

I brought this up to my dad, and within seconds we found my solution:

I should translate the book.

On Saturday, my dad and I are driving to Detroit to pick up my grandpa's computer.  Now you may be thinking, "Hey idiot, get gramps to email the book or put it on a disk.  Duh.  Idiot."  Well, this leads me into obstacle number one:

It's stored on one of these...

Talk about old school.  Should be fun trying to move the file over to a computer that didn't experience the Bush, Sr. administration.

After we transfer it over to a working machine, my dad and I are going to write a computer program that will give us a rough English translation.

Then, obstacle number two:

I write.

Update:  The computer program worked.  I'm now sorting through the jibberish.  Here's a sample sentence:

"Local people told each other that were taken because they were made mosyazhi or bronze which the Germans lacked in production for strilen artylyeryi."

Not exactly the King's English.  The whole translation is like this, so fun definitely lies ahead. Now if you'll excuse me, I must go back to the laboratory.  Good day.

Exactly What I'm Thinking.

I get up at six to write, when Portland hasn't moved yet.  This tranquility lets my brain lose itself in a fresh story.  I usually write for about half hour, don't read it, and go back the next day to see what my mind came up with.

This morning, no story hit me, so I wrote down every word that came to my mind for thirteen minutes.  Thirteen minutes, because that's where I blanked.

"giraffe, pokemon, antelope, fishfood, leprechaun, dancing nancy, ultimate, baked goods, basking in the sun, Mandee, turtle, fire, hitler, upkeep, written, lobster, fantastic fantastia, rescue, dead, cantelope, artichoke, throat, apple, ding dong, theocules, fingers, backbend, gears, mouse, yes, forgetful, mountain, keliedascope, henry, utah, underwear, butthole, gross, fur coat, invalid, hemroids, gas station, desert, dessert, tree line, avalanche, Hemingway, varnish, xylaphone, breast, upton, uptown, large, venus, heimlich, comma, jut, rut, nut, but, hut, vut?, russian, ukrainian, alphabet soup, reindeer, santa, snow, bro, yo, ho, killer mastadon, hat, frat, minesweeper, bogus, durnakamasha, pope, llightbulb, queer, wee-er, near, fear, deer, locomotive, juniper, deviation, sqander, tybalt, gertrude, missletoe, nail, pop tart, pumpkin, yeller, ol' yeller, zanax, venisin, reptile blood, fungus, yunieski betancourt, grapefruit, lake tahoe, purple people eaters, indigo, quality ham, wet noodle, laughing, domain name, errbady in the club gettin tips, portugal, dog kennel, horseshit, pile, iceberg, 90% underwater, shallow beach, white sand, garbage disposal, apartment, rent. money, windows, great view, Jew, pineapple, gutwrench, iou, soup, poop chute, shoot, gunbarrel, leprecy, leprechaun, upside, gag, just, must, thrust, bust, lust, crust, icabad crane, low, rob lowe, blow, glow, show, know, ho, dro, toe, moe, moes cantina, mexican food, burrito, jalapeno, my sister, twisted sister, blister, applcesauce, beef jerky, pancake mix, george bush, cinimmon pie, hot sauce, korver, three pointers, bulls, fuck the nba, gastrointestinal fluid, lighter fluid, change your oil, car hood, gas station, gas station attendant, glasses, "

Initial thoughts:  
1.  My brain is a kangaroo.
2.  I like rhyming.
3.  I repeat leprechaun.  And both times my mind was in a different place beforehand and afterwards.
4.  Unsurprisingly, things that are going on in life pop up (I'm writing about WWII, the baseball playoffs, I'm hungry, etc).
5.  The letters in the middle of the keyboard influenced me.
6.  Durnakamasha.  I don't know.
7.  Wee-er.  I do know.  This is "one who yells 'weee!'"

I'll use this list to come up with an initial thought of a story.

Even if you don't write, try it out.  I may not have solved the riddle of my personality and complexes, but it's a new insight into my brain.  And brains are way cool.

Also, if you know anything about psychology, and your Minority Report skills can deduce "Damian will someday be a serial killer," at least give me a head start before you call Tom Cruise.

LOL this and LMFAO that...

Below is a recycled post from an old blog of mine.  Originally written August 26th, 2009.

Hank Moody illustrates his (self) loathing towards internet slang below.

I like this. A lot. Especially this:
“It just seems to me that (the internet)’s just a bunch of stupid people pseudo communicating with a bunch of other stupid people in a proto language that resembles more what cavemen used to speak than the King’s English.”

I hear the critics of this clip already… “Communication has come a long way! We send more messages now than ever! It’s faster! Easier! We get more done!”

That’s fair. We say more. Larger output. “C u l8r” beats out “I’ll see you later” as far as speed of delivery goes.

But when does this speed and simplicity start to take away from the message? When did communicating become words being passed back and forth sans any real emotion?

Now honestly, I’m no sap. I didn’t cry during the Notebook (yes, an admission -- I saw it and liked it.) but would it kill people to put some umpf into what they say? Not because I’m some needy guy looking for smiles and frowns and beautiful emotional moments and such… BUT I’D LIKE TO KNOW THAT WHOEVER I’M TALKING TO IS AN ACTUAL REAL LIVE PERSON.

Tell me you haven’t heard this statistic: 93% or so of everything we communicate is non-verbal. As in not what we say but more how we say it. Anyone who has taken a basic Communications class knows this.

So… if we’re moving towards a culture that communicates mainly with text and email… if our everyday conversations have a main purpose of jamming information quickly rather than thoroughly putting the whole point across, including how we actually feel… if our society is moving past one message just to make sure we don’t miss the next…

Do any of us really have anything to say anymore?

I beg you all. Slow down. Allow yourself to leave your drone-like tendencies. Yes, we live in a world where the balance of everything lies in how much information one person has over the other.

But life flies by way too quickly. And personally, my favorite moments are the ones where my emotions are so swept up with whoever I’m with that words need not to be said. Which leads me to believe that if we don’t do something, gone will be the moments that words cannot describe.

And for those who write… which means all of you… (let’s get serious, no one’s stumbling onto my blog) … I suggest you check out Californication. Duchovney at his finest.

A moment of Airplane Mode in honor of Steve Jobs.

I found out about Steve Jobs' death last night through a text from my buddy Hayden.

Him: "You hear about Steve Jobs?"
I didn't, but with texts like this, you just know.  I googled it and confirmed.
My response: "Kicked the bucket eh?  Smart move by him - it takes all the negativity away from the new iPhone 4s."

And that was that.

At least I thought that was that.  I hopped back on the laptop a couple minutes later to see what all the interwebs thought of this.

Facebook friends were paying tribute.
Twitter was trending RIP Steve Jobs.

Not surprised.

So just like in the movies, I jumped in the shower afterwards and thought a lot about death.  Death of the famous.  Death of the influential.  Weird thing though, because I wasn't sure how to feel.

Emotionally confused, to say the least.

Because on one hand, so much of what I do is a direct result of Steve Jobs.  I write on my MacBook.  I connect with people through my iPhone.  My music is on there too.  I play jams on my iHome.

So much stuff comes from this man's work.

But it's not like he's made me happier, per se.  I, along with the rest of the world, would all have the same feelings about everything if Steve Jobs never did what he did.  We all have hate.  We all have love.  Products don't decide these feelings, because with every new one, we want more anyway.  They're just a fulfillment of a want that resurfaces right after the want is fulfilled.

Take, for example, yesterday.  The iPhone 4s was announced and people were so pissed.  Lots of backlash.  I had a man-date with a dude in my building last night, and he was complaining because the screen was going to be a half inch or whatever shorter than expected.

And it's not like he's some asshole.  He's a normal, kind, interesting, hilarious guy... but he was so adamant about the screen.  And so were a lot of people.  But those same people are RIPing Steve Jobs on the twittersphere and I'm just confused.

Confused by the social atmosphere we've created.
Confused about how I should feel about Steve Jobs.
Confused by consumerism.
Confused by my own reaction towards death.

I was in the shower for half an hour before I realized I was still showering.  I got lost in thought.

And the most incredibly messed up part about this whole thing is that we all found out about Jobs' death through products that he had actually designed.  Think about that.  It's almost as if one of the reasons that Jobs created the iPhone was so that you could some day find out about his death on the iPhone.  Think anybody ever brought that up to him?  "Hey Steve, you know, someday you're going to die and... most people are going to find out about it on the phone you just designed."  Crazy.

So through all this confusion, I figured the least we could do was share a moment of Airplane Mode on our iPhones in honor of Steve.  And if you don't have an iPhone, or MacBook, or an iPad, or an iPod, or like Pixar even... I guess just honor life.  We all need a little bit more of that whether someone important dies or not.

Because whatever way we all look at this, as a whole, our world's priorities are kinda fucked up right now, so the least we can do is appreciate living and those people who made it their passion to make others' lives better.

Say what you want about Apple and Steve, but he tried.  Here's to the guy that will most likely be buried in the most sleek, minimalist packaging, err, coffin ever known to man.

RIP Steve.

Tavaris and Ms. Pigskin

Below is this week's Oregon Sports News column.  You can find my other OSN columns at

Every NFL quarterback’s success is heavily impacted by their relationship with the football.  Tom Brady, Peyton Manning… they know how to treat a football, taking it out for fancy seafood dinners and throwing it to soft-handed receivers.
On the conch (short for contrary, will totally catch on), some younger QB/football relationships aren’t as solid.  Take for instance Jay Cutler and his relationship with his football.  They aren’t as established and allow the media to impact their relationship in a negative way like whoever Jen Aniston’s dating at the time and whoever is trying to steal away whoever Jen Aniston’s dating at the time.  Too soon?  Too late?!?!  In some cases, relationships are given so much early praise and hype, ahem, Ryan Leaf, that the only place it can possibly go is down.  Disaster ensues, deep scars are made, and the quarterback sometimes ends up never establishing a real, meaningful relationship with any number of different footballs.
Coming off an arguably successful season, the Seahawks decided to roll the dice, sparking a relationship between Tavaris Jackson and a Seahawk football, ending that football’s relationship with former Seattle signal-caller Matt Hasselbeck.  For clarity’s sake, we’ll name this football “Ms. Pigskin.”  Matt and Ms. Pigskin’s relationship wasn’t incredible, although it had its moments and was deemed “safe.”
After feeling out the change, Tavaris and Ms. Pigskin’s relationship hit rocky waters.  As with any new quarterback/football couple, the QB usually needs at least a full training camp to create a good foundation for the relationship.  Unfortunately, Tavaris and Ms. Pigskin had to rush into things, leaving opportunity for negativity to creep in.  Cue image of an arranged marriage couple on their 10th anniversary… when they’re 17.
After Week 1
“Hey… Tavaris?”  shakily said Ms. Pigskin.
“What’s up, sweetheart?”  asked Tavaris.
Tavaris and Ms. Pigskin have had a tough go.  The writing was on the wall for Ms. Pigskin.  She needed to be frank.
“Tavaris, I have something to tell you.”
“Ok…” said Tavaris.
No answer from Ms. Pigskin.
“Well, what is it?” Tavaris asked, frustrated.
“Tavaris, do you promise you love me no matter what?”
“Umm… yeah?  Why?”
“Well Tavaris, I’ve been thinking…”
“You know I hate it when you say that…”
“Stop it Tavaris.  I have something to say – you make me… you… make me… Tavaris, you incomplete me.”
“Don’t say that,” Tavaris pouted.
“But Tavaris, it’s true.  I knew it was bad, but until I looked up the stats, I just really had no idea how terrible things were.”
“You went behind my back and looked up my stats?”
“I did.  You left them up on your laptop.  I read them and there it was:  You only complete me 59% of the time.”
“Ms. Pigskin, you’ve gotta understand what I’ve been going through.”
“I do understand, but I also know that sometimes… well… sometimes it’s time for a change.”
“No!  Ms. Pigksin!  Don’t say it.  Don’t you dare say it.”
“I still have feelings for Matt.  I know he moved off to Tennessee and all, but it wasn’t his choice, T.  And then you stepped in, and it was a whirlwind of emotion, and I just haven’t been myself.  I need a chance to breathe;  I haven’t hit turf this much since I was with Charlie*.”
Tavaris stared blankly, dumbfounded.  After a minute, he got up and poured himself a scotch.
*Mr. Whitehurst, of course
After Week 2
“So?” Tavaris asked.
“Football – I’m talking to you.  So?”
“So what?” said Ms. Pigskin.
“So what did you think?”
“What do I think of what?”
“My completions.  Last week you complained about my completions, and this week I completed you almost 70% of the time!  That’s 10% higher than last week!”
“AND?!?!?!  AND is all you have to say?”
“Well yeah, you made some completions, but they didn’t mean anything,” said a pretentious Ms. Pigskin.
“They didn’t mean anything?”
“Tavaris, I didn’t end up in the endzone once.  It’s like you sent me a dozen wilted roses.  It’s a nice gesture, but they’re all gross.  They’re ugly.  I appreciate the effort on your throws, but I wanna see more from you than that.”
“Ugh.  I can never win with you…” mumbled Tavaris.
“What was that?”  she snapped.
“I said ‘I’ll try’ honey.  I’ll try.”
After Week 3
Ms. Pigskin is hastily preparing breakfast.
Tavaris is sitting hunched over the kitchen table, sipping an irish coffee, slowly swirling it with his spoon.  The room was otherwise quiet.
The air was rubber thick.
“So you’re back below 60% completion,” says Ms. Pigskin, hastily chopping carrots.
Tavaris doesn’t answer.
Ms. Pigskin keeps chopping.
Tavaris sips his coffee.
Ms. Pigskin chops more violently.
“Tavaris?” she says.
No answer.
“TAVARIS…” she repeats sternly.
No answer.
“UGH!” grunts Ms. Pigskin and storms out of the kitchen.
After Week 4
Tavaris wakes up feeling like hell.
“Muhhh,” he mumbles.  What happened last night? he thought.
Then, he flashed back:  Plenty of completions, three touchdowns, a couple picks… overall Ms. Pigskin and I had some nice chemistry, proudly thought Jackson.  But then… hmm… well… the team got sloppy drunk after that tough loss.  I guess we needed to let off some steam, thought Jackson.  Jameson, Jager, tequila… did I eat the worm?  Man, my head is killing me, he thought.  He could barely remember a thing.
Jackson rolled over and rubbed his eyes clear of gook and thought, “at least me and Ms. Pigskin got some really nice complet…”  His pupils then focused, and he saw Ms. Pigskin spooning with Sidney Rice and Doug Baldwin.

Pain Brings Happiness?

Life can be a funny guide sometimes.

You miss your train, but you meet a lovely lady.
You get laid off, but then you find time to travel.
You lose a fight, but then you realize that ego is just an illusion.

Life's curvy road shows us some weird signs.  It puts things in front of us that are so horribly ironic that it occasionally even brings us to laughter, especially when we realize that the our paths are never that set in stone as is.

My life has brought me three years of a broken foot.  If you went back in time and told 21 year old me (4 years ago) that I would be in this very situation, I'd be angry, disappointed, frustrated, negative... But now that I've been going through it, I realize it's brought me humility, humbling moments, level-headedness - all things I maybe wouldn't have experienced otherwise.  My body has left me unable to grow in ways that I formally hoped, but it's allowed my wisdom to grow, flourish even.

And now eight foot doctors later, I've found irony in a sign that cannot be overlooked.  Check out what lines the office walls/ceiling of my current doctor, the doctor who's actually found the key to fixing my foot:

For those of you who don't know, the last three years of immobility has been due to an unfortunate ultimate frisbee injury.  So this room should be my acid-flashback frisbee hell.  But it kinda just makes me laugh.

As far as foot specifics go, the doctor found a small joint in my arch that was stuck*, and after two months of concentrated therapy (which relatively, is short), it's really loosened up, loosened up to the point that I can almost walk without a cane.  Coincidentally, my doc's husband just happened to be an all-star disc player.

I look at these pictures, and tears start to come too.  Which is ridiculous, yes, because they're just frisbees, but I mean, I'm getting fixed.  I'm finally getting fixed.  Fixed in a room with 30 round reminders of why I'm there in the first place.  I mean, this room is lined with the exact reason I've spent the last three years in a bad place.

And for the most part, surprisingly to myself, I'm not as emotional about a working foot.  More emotion comes from being grateful that this whole shit-pile episode happened.  Not everybody gets a chance to learn a life lesson like I just have, and I'm so happy because of it.

Never thought I'd be this upbeat about feeling such great pain...

I moved out here to Portland to start a new life with my lady and become an industrial designer.  But the lady is now lost, and that career path is not my own anymore.  

Even though I came here for those reasons, I find myself enjoying the new reasons I've come to Portland even more:

I didn't know that coming to Portland would unite me with meditation.  I didn't know it would help me find peace.  I had no idea it would help me reconnect with an incredible dame who isn't even from Portland.  I also met a guy from Chicago, who just happened to be in the Northwest on my meditation trip, and now we're everything-but-blood-related brothers.  He's an incredible human being.  I had no clue Portland would push me back towards writing, back towards the act that makes me happy.  

I just had no idea.  

And it's impossible for me to know what tomorrow will bring - an ever-repeated cliche, but this truth is not realized until it's truly felt.

So, I guess I leave you now with this:  No matter how much something sucks, no matter how many things go against your current, it's alright.  Everything's changing, always.  You'll find your way.  It might not currently be so crisply apparent, but it will be.

So haha, har dee ha.  Life, we laugh at you.

*First Metatarsal to Medial Cunieform bone joint.